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Innovations in computer technology as weapons in the Cold War.
This movie is part of the collection: Prelinger Archives
Producer: IBM Corporation, Military Products Division
Sponsor: IBM Corporation, Military Products Division
Audio/Visual: Sd, C
Keywords: Cold War; Electronics; Computers: History
Creative Commons license: Public Domain
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Subject: mashup based on this now at the Archive
I think the exterior shot of the IBM facility at the start is the IBM Main Plant in Poughkeepsie, NY, where many of our fathers worked (as well as among other locations)during the 1950s-1980s
This clip was so good I based a mashup with original music around it:
Rick Dunlop -
Subject: Ah, the good old days, great memories
I was a Computer Tec on the AN/FSQ-7 from 1967 to 1970. With aproximately 55,000 vacuum tubes, it was the largest computer ever built. Surprisingly due to the redundent design, daily maintenance schedule and troubleshooting diagnostics (and of course highly trained computer tecs) it had remarkable uptime. I went from the AF to the civilian computer industry in 1971 and was amased at how long it took industry to catch up to many of the concepts that this monster had designed into it from the beginning. Amazing!
Steve Nordby -
Subject: The best defense $ can buy
With billions of dollars, IBM was making the defense of America as easy as changing a lighbulb. To think that the cheapest cell phone you can get now has more power than the room of computers shown should give you pause. Technology and money spent on weapons do nothing in the long run to keep the world safe.
Subject: Were there asbestos containing components?
I am wondering if anyone could assist me in some research into the AN/FSQ-7 used at the SAGE buildings. Does anyone know if there were asbestos containing components in the computer. Were the electrical wires "AF"- asbestos shielded? How about insulation to keep the parts from overheating. I'm working on a case in which a longtime AN/FSQ-7 technician died from an asbestos related cancer. Any and all help would be appreciated. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: SAGE Building In Newburgh NY Needs Your Help
An effort to preserve the SAGE command center at Stewart Airport in Newburgh NY and open it to the public in the form of a Cold War museum needs your support! The building, with computer equipment and glass tracking boards fully intact in the interior, is slated for demolition in the new Stewart Airfield Master Plan.
Background on current preservation effort: http://www.nationaltrust.org/magazine/archives/arch_story/101701.htm
A web site about the SAGE building:
i was a computer tech in the 70's and worked on equipment like this in the Pentagon. Too bad they didn't show more of the old card readers, disk drives, tapes drives and such.
Subject: Remember when computers could fit into a entire floor?
Nice little nostalgia guilt-inducing film that focuses on the many ways IBM is protecting you, and dammit, your kids, you understand? from the eeeevil people. Lots of technobabble here, but the main interest of course is how for protection back in those days, people relied on computers that took up 3 floors of space. All of this I'm sure can now fit into the computer I'm typing on. Interesting reccomended artifact.
Subject: I used to repair those things
I was a computer repairman for the A/NFSQ-7, the IBM computer used in SAGE from 1965-1968 in Oregon. Boy, keeping those things running was a chore. This computer had over 56,000 electron tubes. This film brings back a lot of memories.
Subject: Great Film for Computer Buffs
SAGE, the semi-automatic ground environment, was the first iteration of the air defense systems that guard us to this day.
A couple of key points about this film: First, it may be the first public illustration of the concept of the "black box," i.e., a self-contained, easily replaceable, electronic module. Even more interesting, to me, is that the computer on which you watch this film is thousands of times more powerful than the entire SAGE system. In fact, your computer is more powerful than all of the computers in the world combined, circa 1956.
An interesting little film about the early days of electronic computers.
Subject: Location of SAGE Building
North Syracuse, New York. I used to drill there with the Army Reserve on the fourth floor. Until now, I had no idea why they called it the SAGE Building. I just thought it was a really ugly concrete thing with no windows.
Subject: Keeping us safe from the red menace
Having been a 'SAGE cowboy' in the 1970's, this film was quite a nostalgia trigger. Some comments based on my personal experiences: One might think that the 'display scopes' are never shown with actual data on them for security reasons. In reality, it is more likely because the displays were too dim to film. The one shot that appears to show a display scope in action is actually a simulation -- it shows the data being updated about once per second. In reality, it took a full *thirty seconds* to draw all of the data for an air division, and the operator had to rely on the persistence of the CRT phospor to see the whole picture. Also, the film shows the two channels of the computer being located on the same floor; I think this might have been the original plan, but the actual machines filled two separate floors of the 150' x 150' building.
One final note: this system was fully operational until the mid-1980's.
Subject: SAGE - the largest computer ever built
Nicely done film that presents the importance of defense, and sells SAGE as the system to provide it. The film doesn't tell much about SAGE (probably classified at the time) but SAGE was the physically largest computer ever built occupying 2 floors of the SAGE building at IBM and requiring over 1 million watts of power. SAGE is an important system in the history of computing hardware.
Medon Decker -
Subject: High tech stuff from the early 50s
This movie tells about the first computer based aerial surveillance system of the USA, which was realised by IBM in the early 50s. Also the 1st generation computer equipment of the famous B52s is shown.
This film features some very interesting infos for computer freaks, the average viewer might get bored. Personally I found it very interesting that already at this time graphical computer displays existed.
Ignore the usual patriotic stuff... or smile.